Two Israeli football players injured in anti-Semitic attack in Poland

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 03.08.2017 19:00

Masked soccer hooligans attacked staff members traveling with an Israeli soccer team following a friendly match in Poland, in what the Israeli Embassy said Thursday was an "anti-Semitic incident."

Two men were slightly injured in the attack, which occurred Wednesday evening in Suchocin, a town near Warsaw, following a friendly between the Israeli club Hapoel Petah Tikva and a local Polish club, MKS Ciechanow.

The Israeli club said the assault occurred at a stadium after the game finished, when most of the players had returned to their hotel.

It said a number of fans of Legia Warszawa, a Warsaw club, "emerged from the adjacent forest with their faces covered (and) came on the field and began assaulting a number of staff that had stayed behind."

"The Israeli embassy in Warsaw has been shocked and saddened by the news of another anti-Semitic incident," Michal Sobelman, spokesman for the embassy, told Reuters.

"These 'pseudo-fans' not only harm good Polish-Israeli relations, but first of all they are damaging to Poland's image abroad."

Polish government spokesman Rafal Bochenek said police were investigating the incident and would detain those responsible.

"We strongly condemn aggression and violence against any person," he said in a statement.

Poland was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe before the Holocaust. About three million Polish Jews were murdered in death camps located all over the country.

Currently, around 20,000 Jewish people are estimated to live in Poland.

Although the Jewish population today is very small, anti-Semitic incidents occur from time to time.

In one high-profile incident a Polish nationalist burned the effigy of an Orthodox Jew during an anti-migrant rally in Wroclaw in 2015.

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